Sunday, 19 September 2010
Since joining twitter I have become increasingly interested in how this technology works. It is truly fantastical, is it not? A short, timely message of less, not more, than 140 characters can be uploaded into thin air from a "mobile-device" and yet be seen by other people on their computing-boxes and such like. Simply astounding!
So, donning my detective hat (and coat, as it was rather chilly) I set off to track down just how all this magic happens. I started by typing a witty message and tieing a piece of string to it. Then I got Gavin to prepare the carriage and keep the horses engines running. As soon as I pressed "send" we were off, chasing the message as fast as we could. The pursuit took several days leading us out of London and up North to England's industrial heartland. We nearly lost track of it as we passed through Northampton, but with some persistence we arrived at the huge, looming Twitter Factory in deepest, darkest Yorkshire. We parked the carriage round the back and made our way inside the vast, windowless building. What a sight greeted our eyes! Row upon row of tiny children working the clanking machinery. The noise was deafening and thick black smoke belched from the engines as the mighty text-looms uploaded messages about what people ate for breakfast or thought of last night's X-factor onto the World-Wide-Webbing.
The poor children scurried back and forth trying not to get crushed by the huge cogs which kept turning and grinding out the letters. At this point we felt a hand on our collars as we were accosted by the factory security. Six burly guards surrounded us. They had the bodies of normal humans, but their heads were that of gigantic blue birds! "Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!" they ordered and we had no option but to obey. We were led into the office of the Twitter Queen, a monstrous bird-headed lady with tentacles that spread out all around us. I had a feeling things might turn nasty. Did you know birds don't blink? It is very unnerving. However, she was very nice and offered us a cup of tea and explained in great detail how Twitter is benefitting society by empowering the common man and giving him a chance to voice his thoughts. Her arguement was quite compelling, but I still had my doubts about all the child-labour involved. The Twitter Queen assured me they were well looked after and not made to work more than 24 hours a day. Then she offered me some shares and promised an exceptionally high dividend. This eased my worries somewhat and Gavin and I returned home... but, I shall be keeping an eye on Twitter and other social networking sites. I have a feeling we have not heard the last of the Twitter Queen.